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Russian space agency spokesman slams ‘information attack’

December 4, 2018
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The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-11 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The Russian rocket carries U.S. astronaut Anne McClain, Russian cosmonaut Оleg Kononenko‎ and CSA astronaut David Saint Jacques. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian space agency Roscosmos is bemoaning the endless stream of bad publicity that it says is designed to curb its funding.

The agency’s press secretary, Vladimir Ustimenko, said Tuesday in an interview published by the RIA Novosti news agency, that Roscosmos is facing an “information attack.”

He said the goal of those slamming Roscosmos at home and abroad is to “deprive us” of state funding, “which today is almost 20 times less than that of the NASA budget.”

The Russian space program has been plagued by construction mishaps, launch failures, corruption scandals and allegations of misusing federal funds over the past decade.

Recently, Alexei Kudrin, head of Russia’s Accounts Chamber, a federal budget watchdog, said the financial situation at Roscosmos is “astonishing.”

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